Commercial Integration Cell


The Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC) Commercial Integration Cell (CIC) enables operational and technology exchange between operators at the Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC) and commercial satellite owner operator partners for the purpose of real-time and near real-time information flow during daily routine operations and to enable rapid, informed response to critical unplanned space events or other activities in and through space to improve Space Domain Awareness (SDA).


An integrated partnership of mutual trust and collaboration between government and key space commercial partners providing superior space domain awareness and response options.


Located at Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., the CIC was established in response to recognition of the reliance on commercial space operators across several mission sets. Lines of effort of the cooperation include:

          - Enhance operational capabilities
          - Increase domain awareness
          - Identify and employ new warfighting concepts
          - Train and familiarize operational crews and procedures
          - Reduce information lag; Improve warfighter support
          - Characterize and resolve anomalies

The CIC began as a pilot program June 1, 2015, as a lesson-learned item from the 2014 Schriever Wargame, a U.S. Space Force training event where several hundred military and civilian experts from various agencies and countries explore critical space issues. During that wargame, the commander of the then Joint Force Component Command Space had access to a commercial cell within the exercise operations center that enhanced real-time information flow from commercial satellite owner/operators, increasing efficiencies and fidelity across the entire Space Domain Awareness enterprise. The resulting conclusion was that greater effectiveness and synergy in the space environment could be found in the integration of personnel from the commercial sector within the CSpOC. The CIC would allow for rapid identification, diagnosis and resolution of on-orbit satellite anomalies while also increasing the overall resilience of U.S. Government satellite operations.

The CIC marks the first-ever collaborative government and industry effort to integrate commercial satellite owner/operators into the CSpOC. This mission partnership enhances cooperation and synergy in the space domain to support coordinated, time-sensitive responses to critical day-to-day and emerging space activities while also increasing the overall resilience of U.S. government space operations.

In its current construct, the CIC program is managed by the U.S. Space Forces - Space (S4S) Plans and Programs Directorate, using Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), which are bilateral in nature and approved by the Air Force Research Laboratory. CRADAs address technology exchange and process challenges between Air Force activities and commercial collaborators.

At the present time there are CRADAs between S4S and ten commercial U.S. owner/operators or subsidiaries: Eutelsat America Corp., Hughes Network Systems, Inmarsat, Intelsat General Communications, Iridium Communications, Maxar Technologies, SES Government Solutions, SpaceX, Viasat, and XTAR. The CIC facilitates the integration of the commercial mission partner representatives in order to support current operations, planning, exercise, and training requirements.

Members of the CIC provide technically qualified operators and subject matter experts who represent their respective company’s operations centers. These commercial partner representatives on the CSpOC floor provide insight into commercial business perspectives, enable direct CSpOC and commercial operations center interaction, and define requirements for technical solutions to optimize data sharing. The collaborative effort influences better decision making, while improving DoD and commercial crisis preparedness and the development of procedures for sharing applicable space operational matters and other relevant indications and warnings.

Commercial partners share strategic and operational considerations as a part of the CSpOC planning and execution cycle. Partners are integrated into relevant exercises and training events to improve operations. They are embedded in the CSpOC to support planning for anomaly resolution, day-to-day operations, as well as contingency and crisis operations for theater and warfighter support.

For more information on the CSpOC CIC program, please contact the S4S Program Management Office at (805) 605-4971.

Current as of June 2021